KHA_0776I make popcorn all the time.  Several times per week. It is a delicious snack that takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish. It is inexpensive, healthy and the ingredients are in my pantry whenever I need them. I know I am biased, but stovetop popcorn is so easy and delicious, why why why would anyone choose microwave popcorn?  Maybe it seems hard? Or bland?  Or maybe the “lite” popcorn has us convinced that regular popcorn is naughty? Well, stovetop popcorn is none of those things and it is dead easy.  Here are our go to tips for making stove top popcorn that will turn you forever from the chemical-scented imposter.

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Thanksgiving is the ultimate eating holiday, but not necessarily the ultimate “foodie” holiday. Seriously, would you ever have another meal with both mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and bread-based stuffing together? Even if you aren’t avoiding carbs, that is just a crazy menu with too many side dishes. But here is the cool thing about Thanksgiving, it is one day of the year when the menu isn’t driven by perfect balance and elegance, it is driven by family and traditions and enjoyment and love. One can’t eat like that everyday, but it is a lot of fun to eat certain things once a year because they remind you of your grandmother or your family back in the South or that time when my sister made some gnarly cranberry sauce at school and brought it home in a dixie cup. No one wanted to eat it but we did anyway and now we laugh about it every year.

Here is our menu. I’ll update with some photos tomorrow night, but I really hope you’ll leave a comment sharing your must-have Thanksgiving dish. The kind of thing that really makes it feel like Thanksgiving. I won’t bore you with the details, but I assure you that I never would have chosen this menu on my own.  I love it anyway because each dish represents a dear family member or friend, even if they won’t be at my table.

place settings

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One stop on our summer holiday included a visit with family in the French countryside. Behind their home, they look after a very large veg patch full of tomatoes, squash, aubergine, melon, pumpkins, corn, lettuce, herbs. Their lush and beautiful crop made my little urban plot seem like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of veg patches.  No matter.  I’m not the jealous type.  As they say, when life give you, um, courgette flowers, make something delicious.  Even if they are from someone else’s garden.

courgette/zucchini blossom

This was actually my husband’s inspired idea.  While helping with the garden chores, he realised that there were nearly twenty beautiful blossoms on the courgette plants and squash vines.  This in addition to the courgette already fully ripened and ready to eat.  Seriously, these courgette were the as long as my forearm and as heavy as a small child. So our lunch idea would also serve as a much needed crop reduction.  (He grew up on a farm.  He is very clever.)

He asked if the flowers were the same kind they use at the Salt Yard for that amazing fried courgette blossom dish? Yes. Did they teach me how to do that in school? No, but we can wing it. And use Google.  And let’s just say that a crunchy, creamy, salty and sweet courgette recipe was an easy sell.

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Five years ago, I was stuck in the hospital with preeclampsia, a magnesium drip and two preemies in the NICU.  My life has changed so much since then — homes, countries, employers, careers, hobbies — but these two little kidlets have been a constant grounding force for me.  Which is not to say they have been constant.  They seem to grow before my very eyes.  And they are always revealing details of their hysterical little personalities that we hadn’t seen before.

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